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The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

Afghanistan’s decision to postpone election commendable

Sometimes, governmental bodies have to admit their mistakes, no matter how embarrassing the admissions might be.

And when it comes to international relations, a nation’s people generally accept apologies, especially if those apologies are precautionary.

In a rare instance of responsible government action, the Afghanistan election commission said on Jan. 24 that it would postpone its parliamentary elections by almost four months because, quite simply, the country was unprepared to carry the elections out. That means the election, which was supposed to take place May 22, will take place Sept. 18.

Although postponing elections is no small task, the election commission’s decision is admirable. The country’s leadership was able to submit to reality – its lack of preparedness – while avoiding further voting difficulty.

In the August 2009 presidential elections, millions of Afghans voted, but a runoff round ensued after voters stopped showing up to voting sites due to threats of violence. Earlier this year, the Afghan Parliament rejected 17 of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s 24 cabinet nominees, according to CNN.com.

Events like these would suggest that the recent postponement is another ominous sign for the future of voting in Afghanistan.

However, voters in Afghanistan have shown their desire to vote. In short, the people are willing, and the leadership is weak.

Afghanistan’s voting leaders have to be overly cautious because of the threats they face every day. In the case of the presidential election, there were rumors of rocket and bomb attacks at voting sites in prominent cities like Kabul. That kind of threat would make the decision whether to vote easy: vote and risk death, or don’t vote and live.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, who was Karzai’s opponent in the presidential election, has criticized the election commission for being biased in its election decisions. Corrupt elections are nothing new, especially in developing nation-states like Afghanistan with ever-present threats from terrorist groups like the Taliban.

Security, or lack thereof, is the most important issue to take into consideration, then. The easy solution to that issue would be for the U.S. to step in and send more troops into Afghanistan to oversee the elections.

Unfortunately, President Barack Obama said last year that he would withdraw 40,000 troops from Afghanistan. Plus, the U.S. is in a horrible economic situation and just deployed troops and aid to Haiti. The military option doesn’t seem to be viable at this point.

This election is sort of a moment of truth for the Afghan constituency.

If September rolls around and the election commission announces another election postponement, violence is sure to follow. Protests in Afghanistan are not your typical picket on the steps of the Supreme Court, either.

As of now, this is a smart decision. Any chaos Afghanistan can avoid in the area of voting will make its citizens happy.

Wyatt Kanyer is a sophomore news-editorial major from Yakima, Wash.

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